UK Chancellor George Osborne opened Google Campus last week, a new centre offering desk space and mentoring for technology companies. Campus is situated in the Old Street area of east London, an area dubbed the Silicon Roundabout. The new building incorporates existing co-working space TechHub, which has now moved out of its original premises.
Osborne said Campus was part of a wider effort to “create the next generation of British technologies”.
Google’s Eze Vidra described the opening as a “transformational moment for the UK start-up community”.
On the building’s sixth floor is SeedCamp, an early stage investment programme which puts cash into about 20 fledgling technology companies a year.
Osborne said the work between Google and the government’s Tech City initiative was the first of several partnerships required to give the sector sufficient support.
“This partnership model is absolutely in line with our approach to Tech City,” he said. “The government doesn’t believe you can click your fingers and create a technology cluster. Wherever possible, our approach is to go with the grain of what’s already happening.”
He said since the Tech City initiative was launched in 2010, the number of technology firms in the area had risen from 200 to 700 – although this high number is often disputed by those within the community.
Further plans to bring research and development companies to the area would mean the UK remained at the “very cutting edge of innovation”, the chancellor said.
“We want the UK to become the hub for technology in Europe as a whole. This is the path we need to take to create new jobs, new growth, and new prosperity in every corner of this country.”